single woman in her early thirties, Martha (Margit Carstensen) is on vacation with her father in Rome when he has a heart attack and falls down dead. She reacts rather indifferently and returns home to her highly-strung mother and begins to new era of her life taking care of a completely ungrateful and insulting mother (declining an offer of marriage from her boss). After a barrage of verbal abuse and offensive remarks from her mother who see's her as an 'ugly old spinster' she accepts a proposal of marriage from an equally insulting and disrespectful man, Helmuth. They honeymoon in Italy. While there Helmuth resigns Martha from the job that she loves, sends her mother to a mental institution, and lets his wife get horribly burnt in the sun while sleeping, then painfully rapes her. Martha gets back to Germany to find that Helmuth has rented them a new house, and she will not be able to return to her old home even to collect any of her things, which he says must be left behind her. At first the naive and immature Martha believes that her husbands childish temper and selfishness, his domineering possessiveness, his lack of respect, and his violent sexual preferences are just a normal part of marriage. Later, against her husbands order she leaves the house and befriends an old work-mate, Herr Kaiser, who tell her Helmuth is a sadist. While Kaiser and Martha are driving together Martha becomes convinced that her husband is following her and is going to kill her.

Résumé de IMDb.com